Newcastle City Council has launched an interactive website to help residents and businesses discover how much they could save on energy bills by installing solar panels.
Named the GREENER Newcastle Solar PV Map, it enables users to search for their property on the map and obtain an estimate of savings over time.
The website draws on Lidar data to assess the size, shape, shading an orientation of a property’s roof, and combines it with assumptions on the generation of renewable electricity each year to calculate the potential cost savings.
The figures include total cost, annual savings and the number of years expected for payback. It also includes an indicator of whether orange or green solar would be most appropriate.
The council emphasised that the data should not be regarded as 100% reliable but said it is a useful initial reference point for residents thinking about the potential of solar PV on their property.
Users can then access information on certified contractors in the region under the Microgeneration Certification Scheme.
Newcastle’s cabinet member for connected, clean city, Cllr Jane Byrne, said: “Installing solar panels is a great way of generating clean electricity and reducing carbon emissions but we understand the process can be quite daunting.
“The website supports people every step of the way providing clear information on the environmental benefits and the long term savings that can be made, as well as details of qualified contractors who can provide quotes to carry out the work.”
The council said that later this year the website will be expanded to show where electric vehicle charges points are located in the city, and to provide more information on energy efficiency improvements that can be made to homes.